Monday, June 28, 2010

Ways I am not "Indian"

Once I came off the boat to the US, I assimilated rather quickly, but I also completely changed my stance on certain aspects of life in general, its way of conduct, its expectations, its goal etc. Here's a few of them that I think are most significant in the way of Indian life:

I am an atheist. I was born a Hindu I guess, but once I took Bio AP in 10th grade, I never looked at religion again. I investigated, read books, reasoned with myself and came to be a dedicated believer of Science. In Indian life, the idea of God literally penetrates every single moment of life, from your house to your shop, from childbirth till death of every single relative, from summer till winter etc. People are absolutely devoted to the religion, attributing every positive or negative event to it. Just the fact that there are over 3 millions gods and goddesses ( or is it 30 million I think) shows that people are looking for some supernatural being to worship no matter what it is from six armed, weapon wielding goddess riding a tiger to a half elephant half human god who rides a mouse. So being an atheist pretty much just doesn't settle with people, they just cannot understand it. They believe that it is just a "phase" and eventually I'll realize it. Yeah, I know.....

I am not too big on saving money my whole life. Indians live to save, they wish they had more money so they could save more. For what? theres various reasons one could come up with, but the most prominent and frequent one is for "the kids". I understand saving for college and what not, but somehow once they a kid, they keep saving until the kid is like 24, or 25 or 35 or whatever!! They will save until the last breath, giving the same reason all along!! That seems absolutely insane and over-reactive to me. Its like no one likes to just...Enjoy. They dont like to have fun, they dont wanna have fun....they just wanna save. Although I must emphasize that this is mostly the generation of my parents, and few of the current ones. The majority of current ones actually are indulging in American Style Consumerism, realizing that you do only live once, and so why not have a little fun. I am all for spending, shopping, investing, gambling,buying etc. Dont get me wrong, obviously one has to have some pure savings, some smart investments like a nice portfolio or real estate. But overall I think one should try out the finer things in life, especially if they are within reach. If you own 3 apartments, sell one and goto europe for a month or so, explore, discover and what not.......and this is why I differ. And I say if our parents don't want to, well it's a waste if at least we don't. I'm 26 and my Doctor Dad works for 9 hrs a day while I sleep for (always more than) 10 hrs. Life's a Beach !

Ofcourse there are ways that I am definitely not American, or Americanized, and I'll take a stab at those subsequently.

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